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SB-909 Dependent children: health screenings.(2013-2014)

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SB909:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 13, 2014
Amended  IN  Senate  April 10, 2014
Amended  IN  Senate  March 20, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 909


Introduced by Senator Pavley

January 23, 2014


An act to amend Section 369 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to juveniles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 909, as amended, Pavley. Dependent children: health screenings.
Existing law provides that a child may become a dependent child of the juvenile court under certain circumstances, including in cases of abuse and neglect. Existing law authorizes a peace officer, without a warrant, to take a minor into temporary custody when there is reasonable cause to believe the minor comes within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Under existing law, a social worker is required to acquire the consent of a parent or permission from the court to authorize medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care to a child who is in temporary custody. Existing law permits, under specified emergency conditions, a licensed physician to provide emergency medical, surgical, or other remedial care to a child in temporary custody without the consent of a parent or permission from the court.
This bill would additionally permit, in the absence of a standing court order, a social worker to authorize a noninvasive initial medical, dental, and mental health screening of a child in temporary custody, without parental consent or a court order custody. The bill would require the social worker to make reasonable attempts to notify the parent that the child will be undergoing a screening and to provide the parent with a reasonable opportunity to object. The bill would provide that if the parent objects, the screening may be conducted only upon the order of the court. The bill would also add mental health care, as defined, to the medical and dental care that may be authorized for a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court, who is in temporary custody, or for whom a dependency petition has been filed.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The state has a compelling interest in ensuring the physical and mental health of children in the child welfare system.
(b) Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Child Welfare League of America have found children entering foster care to be in poor health with chronic and acute health, developmental, and psychiatric disorders.
(c) The completion of an initial health screening will improve the health of children entering foster care.

SEC. 2.

 Section 369 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

369.
 (a) Whenever (1) In the absence of a standing court order, whenever a child is taken into temporary custody under Article 7 (commencing with Section 305), the social worker may authorize a noninvasive initial medical, dental, and mental health screening of the child, prior to the detention hearing held pursuant to Section 319, for any of the following purposes:

(1)

(A) To determine whether the child has an urgent medical, dental, or mental health need that requires immediate attention.

(2)

(B) To determine whether the child poses a health risk to other persons.

(3)

(C) To determine an appropriate placement to meet the child’s medical and mental health care needs identified in the initial health screening.
(2) The social worker shall make reasonable attempts to notify the parent that the child will be undergoing a noninvasive initial medical, dental, and mental health screening, and shall provide the parent with a reasonable opportunity to object to this screening. If the parent objects, the screening may be conducted only upon the order of the court.
(3) For the purposes of this subdivision, a noninvasive initial medical, dental, or mental health screening shall be limited to a review of available health and developmental history, a standard review of systems, a measurement of the child’s height, weight, and head circumference with percentiles, a taking of vital signs, and a physical examination by a physician or pediatric nurse practitioner to identify signs of acute and chronic illness. Physical examinations of children over three years of age shall not require the removal of the child’s undergarments, and the child shall be provided with a dressing gown if the physical examination reasonably requires the removal of the child’s outer clothing.
(b) Whenever a child is taken into temporary custody under Article 7 (commencing with Section 305) and is in need of medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial care, the social worker may, upon the recommendation of the attending physician and surgeon or mental health provider, or, if the child needs dental care and there is an attending dentist, the attending dentist, authorize the performance of the medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial care. The social worker shall notify the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis of the child, if any, of the care found to be needed before that care is provided, and if the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis objects, that care shall be given only upon order of the court in the exercise of its discretion.
(c) Whenever it appears to the juvenile court that a child concerning whom a petition has been filed with the court is in need of medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial care, and that there is no parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis capable of authorizing or willing to authorize the remedial care or treatment for that child, the court, upon the written recommendation of a licensed physician and surgeon or mental health provider, or, if the child needs dental care, a licensed dentist, and after due notice to the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, if any, may make an order authorizing the performance of the necessary medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial care for that child.
(d) Whenever a dependent child of the juvenile court is placed by order of the court within the care and custody or under the supervision of a social worker of the county where the dependent child resides and it appears to the court that there is no parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis capable of authorizing or willing to authorize medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial care or treatment for the dependent child, the court may, after due notice to the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, if any, order that the social worker may authorize the medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial care for the dependent child, by licensed practitioners, as necessary.
(e) Whenever it appears that a child otherwise within subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) requires immediate emergency medical, surgical, mental health, or other remedial care in an emergency situation, that care may be provided by a licensed physician and surgeon or mental health provider, or, if the child needs dental care in an emergency situation, by a licensed dentist, without a court order and upon authorization of a social worker. The social worker shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the consent of, or to notify, the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis prior to authorizing emergency medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial care. “Emergency situation,” for the purposes of this subdivision means a child requires immediate treatment for the alleviation of severe pain or an immediate diagnosis and treatment of an unforeseeable medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial condition or contagious disease which if not immediately diagnosed and treated, would lead to serious disability or death.
(f) In any case in which the court orders the performance of any medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial care pursuant to this section, the court may also make an order authorizing the release of information concerning that care to social workers, parole officers, or any other qualified individuals or agencies caring for or acting in the interest and welfare of the child under order, commitment, or approval of the court.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the right of a parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, who has not been deprived of the custody or control of the child by order of the court, in providing any medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial treatment recognized or permitted under the laws of this state.
(h) The parent of a child described in this section may authorize the performance of medical, surgical, mental health, dental, or other remedial care provided for in this section notwithstanding his or her age or marital status. In nonemergency situations, the parent authorizing the care shall notify the other parent prior to the administration of that care.
(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the rights of dependent children, pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 6920) of Part 4 of Division 11 of the Family Code, to consent to, among other things, the diagnosis and treatment of sexual assault, medical care relating to the prevention or treatment of pregnancy, including contraception, abortion, and prenatal care, treatment of infectious, contagious, or communicable diseases, mental health treatment, and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. If a dependent child is 12 years of age or older, his or her social worker is authorized to inform the child of his or her right as a minor to consent to and receive those health services, as necessary. Social workers are authorized to provide dependent children access to age-appropriate, medically accurate information about sexual development, reproductive health, and prevention of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
(j) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the application of Division 105 (commencing with Section 120100) of the Health and Safety Code with regard to communicable disease prevention and control.
(k) This section does not authorize a child to receive psychotropic medication without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian, or the court pursuant to Section 369.5.
(l) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede Section 319.1, 357, or 369.5, or Article 3 (commencing with Section 6550) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 6, with regard to the authorization for mental health services.
(m) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or expand the laws governing the confidentiality of medical records, the physician-patient privilege, or the psychotherapist-patient privilege.
(n) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) “Mental health care” means the provision of mental health services, including assessment, treatment, or counseling, on an outpatient basis.
(2) “Mental health provider” has the same meaning as that term is defined in subdivision (a) of Section 865 of the Business and Professions Code.